Valentine’s Day: Chocolate Pasta Eating & Making
Hand-cut Chocolate Pasta with Pesto serves 2-4 adults
- 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
- ⅓ cup cocoa powder
- 2 tbsp powdered sugar
- ¼ tsp salt
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- ½ cup lukewarm water
Pesto Sauce: yields 1 8oz jar
- ½ cup chopped unsalted pumpkin seeds
- ½ cup packed fresh basil leaves
- 1 cup packed fresh flat-leaf Italian parsley
- ⅔ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- ½ tsp sea salt
- freshly ground pepper, to taste
In a small bowl add olive oil. Chop pumpkin seeds, basil and paisley, add to olive oil bowl and mix together. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately or store in a glass jar in your fridge to be used at a later date..
Mix the dough:
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa, sugar and salt.
- Make a well in the middle and add the eggs, water and olive oil. Continue whisking the liquid, but begin pulling in bits of flour from inside the well. Use a stirring motion and go slowly.
- Continue like this until the dough starts to come together and the eggs have been incorporated. The dough will be damp and chunky in some parts and loose in others. And the mixture will still be quite floury. That’s ok. Use your hands or fork to continue bringing the dough together.
Knead the dough:
- When the dough looks relatively cohesive but still a bit scraggly, form it into a ball, and knead for 10 minutes against the counter. The dough will be rough at first, but it should begin to tighten up and smooth out as you continue kneading.
- If the dough sticks to your hands, dust the countertop with a little more flour. If the dough is too stiff, add a teaspoon of water. Add more water or flour, a teaspoon at a time, until you get the right texture.
- In the end, you should have a soft, elastic dough that isn't sticky, and feels smooth like a baby’s bottom.
- Wrap the dough with plastic wrap and let it rest on your counter for a few minutes to allow the dough to hydrate.
Roll out the pasta:
- When the dough has finished resting, shape it into a fat log and cut it into 4 equal sections. Leave one section out and re-wrap the others. (If you are working on a small counter, you can cut each piece in half again, so you are working with less dough.)
- Flour your workspace well, and use your rolling pin to roll out the dough into a long strip. With each pass as you roll, lift the dough up, re-dust the counter beneath, and flip it over. When you’re finished, you should have a long, thin piece of dough. It should be just about paper thin, but strong enough to be lifted off of the countertop.
- Loosely roll up the pasta strip.
- Use a very sharp knife to cut the stack across the folds into thin strips. You can cut the strips as thin or as thick as you prefer (like thin linguini or wide fettuccine). But try to stay consistent with the width. Otherwise, the noodles will cook at different rates.
- If freezing, gather the noodles into several small, loose bundles. Be careful not to compress the noodles too much; it’s fine to just gather them together. Place the noodle nests on a well-floured baking sheet, then freeze. Once frozen, transfer the nests to a large zipper bag, and use as needed. Frozen noodles will last for 9 months.
- If you are cooking pasta straight away. Boil your pasta in a large pot of salted water until the pasta floats to the top (about 1 minute). Serve with your pesto sauce or other favorite sauce.